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The

Nasdaq Stock Market

I:IXIC

posted a 69.7% gain in third-quarter profit, as revenue nearly doubled at the exchange.

In the quarter, Nasdaq earned $30.2 million, or 22 cents a share, up from $17.8 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 83% to $403 million.

Analysts, as surveyed by Thomson Financial, were predicting earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $394 million.

Nasdaq's better-than-expected third-quarter profit report comes at a time of heightened merger speculation in the exchange sector. Many are predicting a wave of consolidation, sparked by this week's news that the

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Chicago Mercantile Exchange

(CME) - Get CME Group Inc. Class A Report

is paying nearly $8 billion for its Windy City rival the Chicago Board of Trade, owned by

CBOT

(BOT)

.

Nasdaq currently owns a 25% equity stake in the London Stock Exchange, and many expect it to make another move to acquire the LSE outright. Earlier this year, the LSE rebuffed a takeover bid by the tech-heavy exchange.